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The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero [Paperback]

By Stephen Skelton (Author)
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Item Number 25601  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.465 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2006
Publisher   Harvest House Publishers
ISBN  0736918124  
EAN  9780736918121  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

From above, a heavenly father sends his only son to save the Earth

Sound familiar? It should?because the Superman storytellers based Superman on Jesus on purpose! That?s why the Man of Steel actually champions the truth about the Super Man Himself?Jesus?and this can show readers how to reach friends and family in today?s entertainment?focused culture.

Stephen Skelton?s faster?than?a?speeding?bullet discussions reveal that...

the Superman storytellers confirm they modeled Superman on Christ
Superman and his father share the name ?El? (Hebrew for ?God?)...and his earthly parents were originally named ?Mary? and ?Joseph?
Superman movies, TV shows, and comics are built on parallels to Christ?s death, burial, resurrection, and second coming

Buy The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero by Stephen Skelton from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780736918121 & 0736918124

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More About Stephen Skelton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles Dickens has held the title of the world's most celebrated nineteenth-century novelist for more than two centuries. Incredibly, his popularity continues to grow today. In addtion to "A Christmas Carol," his legendary literary works include "Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, " and "Great Expectations."
Stephen Skelton is the producer of a best-selling video-based Bible study series, which includes "The Mayberry Bible Study" and "The Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study." He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Stephen Skelton currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons   [1585  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Not the First  May 18, 2008
The comparison between Superman and Jesus the Christ may seem a little daunting but this is not the first effort of its type - I recommend (and good luck finding it) "The Gospel According to Superman" which was written back in the early '70's. Of course, Robert Short started all of this with his "Gospel According to" and "Parables of" Peanuts.
Better than the Movie  Sep 15, 2007
Leaps tall buildings with a single bound and points a generation to Christ? That's the premise of Stephen Skelton's latest offering, "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero."

Skelton seems to have an eye for the nostalgic as his previous offerings include "The Bonanza Bible Study" and the "Andy Griffith Bible Study." Skelton's passion is to use cultural artifacts from Television to point people toward this generation to Christ.

In "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero" Skelton argues that the chapter of Superman was intentionally modeled by many of the writers in the "Superman Cannon" to be a Messianic/figure. Skelton goes the distance with detailed quotes to show from Siegel's creators, two Jewish teenagers, borrow from their heritage religious heritage's stories of Samson and the coming Messiah to create a secular "American Messiah." Skelton documents how the creators of the "Superman: The Movie", "Superman II", and TV's "Smallville" had an awareness of the parallels between Jesus Christ and the Man of Steel.

Skelton spends the rest of his book outlining these parallels the common ground that his two Supermen share with sections entitled "Origins", "Mission, and "Destiny." In each section, Skelton provides painstaking detail to show how Superman is a "parable" of Christ.

The fact that Skelton is a genuine fan of the Man of Steel shines throughout the book. It's apparent this book is a labor of love and not a hacked product to be released just in time for the release of this summer's "Superman Returns." It's his passion for the story that allowed him to unearth some arresting details that build his case that the parallelism between Superman and Jesus isn't merely coincidental. For example, Skelton reveals that Clark Kent's earthly parents were originally named Mary and Joseph before Superman's publishers required that that connection between the Gospels and the cartoon not be so obvious. With reverence for both Jesus and Superman, Skelton offers such an overwhelming catalogue of comparisons that it's impossible to miss the creative intention of many of Superman's creators. Causal fans of the Superman will enjoy his exposition of the "Death of Superman" story of which only the most devoted fans will be aware.

However, I felt that Skelton frequently strained to build his argument that Superman is a fictional type of Christ. For example, Skelton labors for a few paragraphs attempting to show how a Biblical Greek word "krypton" helps us understand the spiritual allusions of Superman's home plant Krypton." Odds are the similarities between the words are a simple coincidence. Later, in another side bar, Skelton tries his hand at linguistics and points out the "Kent" in "Clark Kent" uses the same consonants as the Hebrew word for "Christ." Again, Skelton presses to hard to make his point. Why torture the story for a few extra thrusts when logic doesn't allow it? His documentation of how the director and writers of "Smallville" intentionally infused their contribution to the Superman story is evidence enough of the messianic themes in Superman.

In spite of its short comings, "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero" is a great gift for your favorite comic book fan. It's also a valuable book for children or youth pastors looking to build a summer curriculum series that ties into `Superman Returns." Skelton should be praised for attempting to find common ground between pop culture and Jesus.
Haven't read this book but...  Aug 10, 2007
I haven't read this book so can't pretend to comment on it (though this review system forces me to give it a rating) but, that said, the comparisons between Superman and Jesus, while I see it, always makes me shake my head. While, certainly, people can and should freely interpret art and literature independently of the creators' intentions I feel many ignore or are ignorant of the most strikingly obvious and already well documented of parallels. For example, Mario Puzzo did, in fact, draw in the link to John 3:16 in his script for the 1978 "Superman" film and Bryan Singer, with "Superman Returns," does seem to push the Jesus-as-savior metaphor for the Man of Steel as well. But let's please remember that Superman was created in the 1930s by Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, two Cleveland Jewish kids who, rather than the unlikely scenario of basing their character on Jesus, based Superman on Moses. As the baby Moses' people faced destruction from Pharaoh who'd ordered the death of all male infant Hebrews, his mother placed him in a basket on the Nile River in an effort to save him. He was found by another family (ironically, a member of Pharaoh's household) and grew to become a hero and savior to the Hebrews, wielding tremendous powers and achieving feats no mortal man could hope to match. See any similarities to the Superman origin?
Entertaining analysis, but not quite super  Nov 29, 2006
This is a fun book, but in places it attempts to create connections between Jesus and Superman that don't really appear to be there. Prospective readers should be aware that Superman is, and has aways been, primarily a pop culture icon intended to entertain, not a symbolic figure meant to remind us of Christ.

The author admits this truth and tries to navigate around it by several times admitting that not all the parallels he mentions were intended by the creators or writers responsible for the stories. Nonetheless, Skelton says, Christians ought to see any figure in pop culture through the lens of the Bible, so that we can be reminded of truth even in a medium where the author did not deliberately try to convey it -- essentially, we should interpret all our experiences (including those involving Superman) from a Christian persective.

This is all fine and good, but Skelton then goes on to point out such elaborate and inventive parallels between Jesus and Superman that it becomes hard to take some of them seriously. According to this book, we should be reminded of some aspect of Jesus' life by Superman's Kryptonian name (Kal-El), his earthly name (both "Clark" and "Kent" can remind us of Jesus), the names of both his Kryptonian parents and his earthly parents, the shape of the spaceship that brought him to earth, the clothing worn on Krypton, the clothing his earthly parents were wearing when they found him, the fact that Kryptonite is lethal to him, the color of Kryptonite (at least, the Green K), the colors on Superman's costume, the name of the actor most known for portraying Superman (i.e., Christopher Reeve), and on and on. It is as if every detail of some parts of Superman's life is meant to suggest some new idea about Jesus to us. The examples are so creative that they begin to appear contrived and artificial, rather than genuine parallels to the life of Jesus.

Ironically, Skelton ignores a pretty heavy dose of the Superman mythos to make his case. While he pays attention to every "jot and tittle" of some parts of the Superman lore, he completely overlooks other parts. He draws most extensively from the TV show "Smallville," the first "Superman" movie (not including any of the campy or humorous scenes from that film), and a couple of Superman comic stories -- mostly his origin and the "Death & Return of Superman" saga from the early '90's. Almost no mention is made of the "Lois & Clark" series (which definitely did *not* portray Superman as a parallel to Christ), the Superman III or IV movies, the 1940's Max Fleischer cartoons and movie serials, the George Reeves TV series, nor to broad themes appearing in the comics throughout their 70-year history -- other than mentioning these all briefly in a "Superman chronology timeline" in the beginning of the book. Also noticeably absent was any reference to Brian Azzarello's recent 12-issue stint on the Superman comic, which portrayed Superman as regularly flying to a church and confiding in a priest. Surely if all these other mundane aspects of Superman's life can remind us of Jesus, his presence in a church ought to, as well!

The book ends with a brief synopsis of Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" movie. However, because the book was released at roughly the same time as the film, the author was not able to view it before the book was complete, so he just deals with "plot speculation." This is unfortunate, because that film did make several deliberate attempts to depict Superman as a Messiah/Christ figure, and examples from it would have fit better than some of the ones that are in the book (Skelton doesn't even mention the most overt Christ-image in the movie, of Superman "giving his life" to save the earth and then falling with arms outstretched, in the position of Jesus on the cross, back to earth.)

Still, this book certainly is an entertaining read, even if I had to scratch my head a little at some of the examples that Skelton draws. After all, it is a well-thought-out book, and it's Superman!!! Anyone who enjoys Superman and wants to see how some of the ideas in his history can point us to Christ ought to enjoy it, as long as you don't expect an analysis that starts with the Superman creators' own intentions.

An excelent supplement to this book, which focuses more on broad themes (not only on the minutiae) of Superman, and also includes a "spiritual" analysis of many other comic book heroes, is H. Michael Brewer's "Who Needs a Superhero?"
Good Book  Nov 3, 2006
This book helped me to give a talk to a Christian Youth Group of the spirituality of God and how it relates to the greatest Superhero of all, Superman. Its a fun and easy read and is recommended to anyone who is interested in seeing the ties between Superman and our christian values

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